Is SPF 15 really enough?

Since announcing the launch of our brand-new product, Essential Skin Perfecting Moisturiser, we have received multiple questions regarding its sun protection factor (SPF). Why is it only SPF 15? Is this really enough? Shouldn’t it be higher? Can I boost its efficacy by layering it with a higher SPF moisturiser? Let’s take a closer look at this newly released product, its purpose, who it’s ideal for and where it should sit in your SPF wardrobe.

Why is Essential Skin Perfecting Moisturiser only SPF 15?

When we created this product, we didn’t set out to simply make another moisturiser with an SPF in it. Heck, there’s so many of them on the market already – what would be the point? What we wanted to do was create a product which used cutting edge new advancements in skincare to protect today’s man or woman against the skin concerns of tomorrow which normal SPFs moisturisers don’t; pollution and digital-induced ageing.

However, we are governed very closely by the TGA (Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Authority) with what they will allow us to put into a formulation with an SPF higher than 15; the regulations they have in place includes both ingredients, and their percentages. At present they are yet to approve the addition of the cutting-edge ingredients we have used to provide you with protection against digital ageing and pollution to SPF products which are higher than 15. We know the damage pollution and blue light is causing to our skin though, and that’s why we believe it’s important.

The fact these ingredients aren’t approved just reflects that the TGA probably have to-do lists that we wouldn’t be jealous of! The amazing manufacturers we source these particular ingredients from have conducted extensive testing themselves showing amazing results, and we are so proud to work with them and include their technology in our formulations.

Alpha-H has a proud history of doing things before they became popular. We believed in the benefits of exfoliation and Glycolic Acid well before others caught on, and we like to stay at the forefront of the ingredients which are going to give you the results you deserve. We want to bring the best and the latest in skincare to you as soon as possible. So, rather than holding this one back until we can release it with a higher SPF, we believe you deserve the benefits this formulation provides now.

Sure, we could have made it into a serum with no SPF in it instead, but we also know that people now like multi-tasking products which give you multiple benefits in a single step.

Instead, Essential Skin Perfecting Moisturiser is a single-step new generation skincare staple for a new generation of skin concerns. UV rays are one of these concerns and it’s why we’ve included the highest SPF we are allowed to as part of the formulation. But in our modern world UV is far from the only environmental skin aggressor we should be concerned about!

How is Essential Skin Perfecting Moisturiser different to the others in our SPF wardrobe?

Essential Skin Perfecting Moisturiser differs from other moisturisers with SPF in that it adds cutting-edge ingredients which provide blue light and pollution protection to the mix, effectively future-proofing you against the havoc they can wreak on your skin.

Blue light, which is emitted by computer and smartphone screens, sits next to UV on the light spectrum and carries the same risk factors as it. But your stock standard SPF, regardless of how high its SPF rating is, doesn’t offer you any protection against blue light at all.

Then there’s pollution. The carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide and ground level ozone we are exposed to during normal city life are literally poisoning our skin. These particulates, found in a range of everyday pollutants like exhaust fumes and cigarette smoke, can cause pigmentation, premature age spots, damage to the dermal fibres, damage to your skin’s barrier function, inflammation, loss of firmness and tonicity, and a dull, grey and dry complexion. Again, standard SPF isn’t going to help protect you against this.

How much protection does SPF 15 provide?

Did you know that SPF 15 protects you against 93% of UV rays? It is good for your average day in the office with a few outdoor errands. Meanwhile SPF 30 protects you against 97% of UV rays and SPF 50 against 98%. They’re better suited to those who spend more time outdoors during the times when the sun’s UV rays are at their strongest. Read more about SPF ratings and UV rays.

When you are getting dressed and ready for the day, you will consider the weather and what you’ll be doing before you choose an outfit from your wardrobe. We suggest you should do the same with your SPF!

If you are mostly going to be outdoors on a given day, then SPF 15 probably won’t be enough for you! You’re going to want to choose something with a higher factor. Our range also includes two other moisturisers with higher SPF ratings which would be far better choices for you on outdoor days.

But if you are someone who lives and works in the city, spending lots of time in front of a screen and only small amounts of time outside during daylight hours, then SPF 15 is likely going to be more than enough protection for your average day.

Don’t forget, of course, that Australia’s Cancer Council strongly recommends you reapply your sunscreen every two hours when outdoors, regardless of its sun protection factor. This even counts for times like playing team sports, gardening and sweating from a bike ride.

Can I layer Essential Skin Perfecting Moisturiser with an SPF 30 or SPF 50 to up its protection?

While there are no specific contraindications for doing this, you do need to remember that adding two different SPFs together doesn’t result in a greater total protection factor. For example, an SPF 15 layered with an SPF 50 does not equal an SPF 65! It will still only be SPF 50 at most; and there’s even a chance that you could downgrade the efficacy of the higher SPF slightly. Layering two creams will also somewhat inhibit the absorption of the second product into your skin.

What this means is that you could layer it if you wish, but you need to be aware that you’re not increasing your SPF total, and you will still definitely need to re-apply every two hours to keep the sunburn at bay.

If you layer this product with another SPF, we recommend you apply your Essential Skin Perfecting Moisturiser first as it contains skin-lifting peptides and other ingredients which you want to ensure your skin gets the maximum benefits of.

What we do advocate layering with this product, and any of our other SPF moisturisers, is one of our Vitamin serums. Vitamin C would be particularly ideal as it helps to shield your skin from free radical damage caused by UVB exposure which can trigger symptoms of premature ageing such as wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Our Vitamin C serum also includes Hyaluronic Acid to boost moisture and Grape Seed Extract to suppress melanin production. It’s a match made in heaven.

Another point to make is that a product’s SPF is only as good as your application of it. Unless you apply it in the exact way that it was applied when the TGA tested it, you’re not going to get the full benefits. Your SPF 50 might only be as good as an SPF 15 against UV rays if you haven’t applied it properly.

Who is Essential Skin Perfecting Moisturiser best for?

Essential Skin Perfecting Moisturiser is the perfect choice for those who likely live in the city, work in an office and only spend a small amount of their day outdoors when UV is at its peak. It provides protection against far more than just UV, whereby future-proofing your skin against other factors that other products just don’t.

Meet your new SPF wardrobe

Essential Skin Perfecting Moisturiser

Essential Skin Perfecting Moisturiser SPF 15

This hydrating cream is great for use as a primer as it provides a dewy, semi-matte finish. Ideal for those days when you’re working inside in front of a computer screen, and for city workers exposed to daily pollution, as it contains blue light and anti-pollution shielding ingredients. Also includes skin-lifting peptides to fight the visible signs of ageing. Broad-spectrum SPF is more an added bonus against incidental sunlight exposure here; the focus is on fighting modern skin-ageing aggressors blue light and pollution.

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Daily Essential Moisturiser with SPF

Daily Essential Moisturiser with SPF

(SPF 30+ AU and SPF 50+EU due to differing regulations between regions) This lightweight and non-whitening broad-spectrum SPF moisturiser is perfect for outdoor days and can also be used as a makeup primer. Provides more of a dewy finish to skin, but will not leave you looking like a ghost. Super hydrating thanks to the addition of Vitamin E. Ideal for all skin types.

Protection Plus Daily with SPF

(SPF 50+ AU and SPF 50+ EU) This nourishing, non-greasy broad-spectrum SPF moisturiser is the perfect choice on days when you’ll be out in full sun. Ideal as a primer under your makeup as it provides a matte finish and won’t flashback in photography. Also provides a light blurring effect on the skin. Great for dry skins as it contains natural emollient and antioxidant-rich Mango Seed Butter.

Protection Plus Hair and Body Oil

Protection Plus Hair and Body Oil with SPF

(SPF 30+ AU and SPF 50+ EU due to differing regulations between regions) The perfect protection for your hair and body on those outdoor beach days. This innovative all-in-one spray provides broad-spectrum SPF protection, while also nourishing, revitalising and fortifying the skin and hair with a blend of Argan Oil and Ginger Root Extract. Also assists in protecting against the drying effects of the sun, salt water and chlorine. Not recommended for use on the face.